What if there was one adjustment you could make right now that would enable you to be happier with not much effort? Can there be such a thing?
In a world where there are literally endless things about your life you could change, could there be one that is both easy and has impact? I think there is.
It’s a change that I have made myself, and it has really helped me. It helps keep me on an even keel. Helps me to be more happy.
It’s not about what’s on your mind, it’s more like WHERE is your mind
This change came about because I had been very upset for years about various issues. I found myself becoming very stressed and upset as I would relive some of these things in my mind.
I would try to not think of these things only to think of them more. Somehow just telling myself to not relive them in my mind wasn’t enough. I would find myself in the same old thoughts time and again.
I could tell myself “don’t think about any upsetting things” and I would think of upsetting things within minutes. If that sounds like you don’t worry, that’s pretty normal!
I began to research how to relieve myself of this trouble. It turns out I discovered that for me, it was easier to modify where my mind was in time rather than what my mind was on.
I began to realize almost every upsetting thought is a past regret, or a future worry.
The present moment is the best place for a calm mind to be kept
Upon this realization I changed things up and told myself “keep your mind in the present”. This was much easier, because the present is a never ending thing to observe and focus on.
It was no longer “don’t think bad stuff!” That was hard to achieve because it only tells you what not to do. While you’re trying to figure out what to do you almost always go back to thinking upsetting thoughts.
By thinking “keep your mind on the present moment” I gave myself something to do that solves the problem of the upsetting thoughts simultaneously. I found it much easier to pull my mind back to the present than to fight off the unwanted thoughts.
Realize WHERE your mind is most of the time
If you’re having lots of upsetting thoughts it’s almost certain that during these episodes your mind is in the future or the past, but not in the present moment. If you think about this for a moment you’ll realize it’s true.
By pulling your mind to the present moment you can eliminate almost all troublesome thoughts, and enjoy the now, which is impossible if your mind is stuck in the past or future. You don’t have to consciously try to label and avoid every bad thought you shouldn’t think. It just happens!
Just become present, and enjoy the moment at hand, soon your mind will begin to calm down.
Decide where your mind should be, not what it should be on
Make the decision to keep your mind in the present as much as you can. That’s the key. Rather than “ I shouldn’t think these thoughts” be more like “I’m thinking in the past (or worrying about the future), let me focus on the present!”.
By bringing your mind to the present, you’ll find yourself enjoying life more and you’ll also find upsetting thoughts begin to fade away. It’s an easier approach to the situation in my opinion.
It takes a bit of practice, but change will come fast
When you first implement this strategy you will probably find yourself frequently bringing your mind to the present. This is to be expected as your mind has almost certainly been stuck way in the past or way in the future for a long time.
Continue to bring it to the present and focus on everything that is occurring right in front of you right now, enjoy the moment. As time goes on it will become far easier and will eventually become habit.
I believe that if you make this one adjustment yourself, it won’t take long to realize it has allowed you to become much happier also!